I hope the world is moving toward the pre-Covid days with in-person meet-ups (it is happening, I know), as Special Love is gearing up for their 40th Anniversary Year! But for Cancer Kids and their families, it's been a slower go for obvious reasons. However, outdoor activities are plausible and oh-so-needed, and yesterday was one of those days of connection and fellowship - a lot of it at the Tie-Dye station, and of course, the food too!
On Father's Day, hubby Bill, son Ryan and I drove out to Smokey Glen Park in Gaithersburg, Maryland, to join in on the plethora of outdoor fun for the afternoon. We met new families and kids deciding whether or not to go to Camp - either BRASS (for siblings of a cancer patient) or Camp Fantastic - the Camp for cancer kids, and our answers were always, YES, GO!! I think Ryan even swayed a few shy kids on the fence about going to a YES! It will be the best week of their life, according to Ryan, who has gone as a camper or counselor for over 20 years, away from hospitals or being stuck at home due to intense treatment.
We met up with kids, now adults, we've known for years, cancer families we've known for years, too, who have become our cherished friends, and a bunch of new families to envelope in love, special love, into a club no one would ever join.
You are correct if you think a diagnosis of a child's cancer never leaves us. Thankfully, our family found this organization early on in Ryan's treatment, and we never had to walk this path alone. Bill and I tried to convey that to the new crop of families with Special Love's programming and outreach. Fingers crossed that we succeeded with a new family or two!
Photos: L-R 1) tie dye on the clothesline; 2) Shari Fisher and Bill; 3) more tie dye; 4) the biker look; 5) drying of tie dye Tshirts, pillowcases, and scarves; 6) Ryan & Bill at dinner this weekend before the DC United game (soccer).